After enduring a 5-hour red-eye, we landed in Reykjavic at 4am (midnight in the US), only to wait 5 more hours until the arrival of our scheduled pick up with Kuku Campers. As noted in our previous post, business hours in Iceland start a bit later and end a bit earlier, perhaps the reason why there are no Starbucks or McD’s anywhere on the island, who wants to work those crazy hours right?! Agreed, this is something we were able to appreciate despite the tiny inconveniences. Needless to say, by 10am we were feeling pretty delirious, that paired with the completely unfamiliar, moon-like surroundings, we couldn’t tell you what planet we were on.
Luckily Iceland’s famous Blue Lagoon, one of the 25 wonders of the world, was the only activity on our itinerary… a day of soaking in the warm, therapeutic, milky-teal waters to help rejuvenate the soul? We couldn’t get there soon enough.
Like most incredible things, this place is extremely popular, but you would be missing out on something special if you didn’t go and we honestly couldn’t think of a better way to begin (and/or end) our time in Iceland.
We reserved our Premium tickets online beforehand, which is required for all. If you don’t want to deal with long lines, especially if you’re visiting during summer between the peak hours of 10am-2pm, we recommend purchasing the Premium or Luxury tickets, as they have a separate line that moves quite a bit faster. We put on our high-tech wristbands, took our mandatory pre-pool shower (nudity required remember), put on our comfy robes and headed outside into the 30-degree world before being engulfed in the milky, warm hug that is the Blue Lagoon.
It was as divine as it looks. The geothermal water originates 2,000 meters below the earth’s surface, where freshwater and seawater combine at extreme temperatures. On its way to the surface, the water picks up silica and minerals, before emerging at a soothing 38°C (100°F). Another amazing fact is that the lagoon is self-cleansing, completely renewing itself every 40 hours.
What makes it blue you ask? What’s interesting is that the water is actually white! The blue color comes from the way silica reflects in sunlight and during the summer there can also be a hint of green in the water. This is the result of the increased amount of algae, which multiplies quickly when exposed to direct sunlight.
With multiple “mudding stations” setup around the lagoon, we couldn’t get enough of the stuff! By the end of the day our faces were as soft as a newborn’s bum.
After a good seven hours or so of soaking, we showered our pruney selves in their spacious, spa-like locker rooms and prepared for an incredible meal at LAVA.
With a glass of champagne to start, we had already fallen in love with the tiny island we had just begun to explore… cheers to that.
Once we settled into the cozy, romantic space, admiring the sweeping viewing of the glowing lagoon, our waitress came over to take our orders. Drew went for the Nordic Chef of the Year’s award winning selection. First he was served a slowly cooked cod with a lightly smoked langoustine salad, including crisp apples and savory pearl onions, all enveloped in a rich langoustine sauce.
Next was the main course. Drew was presented with a fried front rack of beef and lamb cheek, alongside a roasted medley of carrots, potatoes and morel, all under a generous pour of rich port wine glaze. I, on the other hand, enjoyed their signature vegetarian dish, the salt-baked celeriac (an exclusive Icelandic root vegetable) placed atop a bed of couscous, paired with hazelnuts, red onion, roasted grapes and their traditional dill oil. Needless to say, it was all incredible.
With too much wonderfulness to choose from, we topped it all off with their signature Nordic Chef of the year dessert. Cranberries and organic dark-chocolate were placed alongside marzipan, shaved lemon, hazelnuts and homemade meringue. We also had to order the highly recommended, made-from-scratch brioche topped with brown-butter ice cream, fresh apples, celeriac foam and a mouth-watering caramel drizzle. We couldn’t help but smile the whole way through.
Best camera to bring? GoPro with waterproof casing.
No jewelry, lagoon water corrodes silver and gold. You can safely store your gems in your locker.
Ladies, if you don’t want to deal with a world of knots on your head, be sure to tie your hair up, or bring a heavy-duty, leave-in conditioner if you can’t resist a full dunk. They also provide you with shampoo and conditioner, but I needed something a bit stronger.
You can check your luggage for a small fee if you’re getting dropped off with all your airport gear. Reykjavic Excursions offers lagoon transport to and from the airport and the surrounding Reykjavic area.
Find the cave and the hydraulic massage waterfall, trust us.